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Photo by Patrick Cullina

Featured Plant: Raydon's Favorite aromatic aster

By High Line Gardens | October 22, 2012

Writing about wild asters in his journal, Henry David Thoreau noted: “How ever unexpected are these later flowers! You thought that Nature had about wound up her affairs. You had seen what she could do this year, and had not noticed a few weeds by the roadside, or mistook them for the remains of summer flowers now hastening to their fall; you thought you knew every twig and leaf by the roadside; and nothing more was to be looked for there: and now to your surprise, the ditches are crowded with millions of little stars.”

As Thoreau observed, asters flourish in the cooler months of fall, blooming with surprising color as other flowers are winding down. Like tartarian aster, Raydon’s Favorite aromatic aster blooms in the autumn with delicate purple-petalled flowers with yellow centers, which resemble daisies. Raydon’s Favorite differs in its form, with the plant having a bushy, mounded shape whose surface eventually fills completely with flowers.

Raydon’s Favorite aromatic aster, Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite,’ is a native of the southern United States. Its foliage is aromatic, giving off a scent of mint when brushed, and its flowers are a favorite of pollinators, making it popular with home gardeners looking to incorporate wildflowers.

On the High Line between Gansevoort and 15th Streets, and 17th and 21st Streets.

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 500 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today. Every week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line’s most important gardening projects.

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TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.